Disbarred Attorney Sentenced for Stealing Client Funds
ATLANTA—Thomas W. Dickson has been sentenced for stealing over $300,000 from his law firm’s clients.
“When Dickson stole over $300,000 of his clients’ money, he violated the law,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In December 2008, while employed with a large Atlanta, Ga., law firm, Dickson was retained by Tenants In Common (TIC), owners of commercial real estate purchased through DBSI Inc., an Idaho based company. DBSI sold TIC investments or fractional ownership interests in commercial real estate to investors across the country. In November 2008, DBSI filed bankruptcy and many of the investors lost their life savings. In December 2008, several TIC property owners retained Dickson to represent their interests in the bankruptcy action. In 2009, Dickson encouraged TIC owners to transfer rents and other income into his law firm’s trust account.
Between February 24, 2010, and January 6, 2012, Dickson fraudulently directed his law firm’s accounting department to unlawfully transfer over $300,000 from the law firm’s trust account to a checking account controlled by Dickson and his wife. Dickson led the firm’s accounting department to believe that the funds were being transferred on behalf of TIC clients to pay legitimate third party expenses. In March 2013, Dickson was disbarred by the Georgia State Bar.
Dickson, 53, of Boulder, Colo., has been sentenced by United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt, Jr., to 12 months and one day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, with the first six months of supervised release to be served in home confinement, 120 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $175,951.98. Dickson pled guilty to wire fraud on August 14, 2013.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey A. Brown prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.Pressefirstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.